Going to the cinema is always a treat, whether its spending time with your family, friends or for a party or date night, it’s always a nice thing to look forward to. However, for those with food allergies it’s not as easy as just showing up to the movie theatre and buying your ticket.
Having food allergies should not limit your nights out so here’s a few tips to keep in mind for your next movie night, whether it’s at the cinema or hosted at a friends house.
Everyone around you must know you have a severe allergy & you carry an EpiPen
- Contact the cinema in advance to make them aware you will be attending, and you have a severe food allergy- they may want to know what movie you’re going to watch and time so they can ensure the theatre is thoroughly cleaned.
- Ask about the food served- the ingredients of the popcorn, how it is prepared, what oil is used, are there any allergen toppings. Some brands may contain additives or could be dairy-free. Ask if they have any allergy free snacks or drinks such as ice-cream, slushie, crisps and sweets.
- Ask the manager if you are allowed to bring in your own food- this will depend on the cinemas policy. If you show your adrenaline auto-injectors or a doctors note then you may be allowed to.
- If you want, you could suggest an allergy free brand that the cinema could consider stocking to make the food snacks more allergy friendly.
- Bring some hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes in case you may want to wipe the arm rests of your seat/table.
At the Cinema
- If ordering food, inform the staff about your allergies and ask them to change their gloves and use clean utensils and equipment when preparing your food.
- If the cinema popcorn is not suitable, bring some along with you. The risk of cross contamination is higher with popcorn that is freely handled. Purchase safe popcorn that you’ve tried before or make your own popcorn with a popcorn maker at home.
- Choose snacks you have tried before, that are pre-packaged and made by a brand you trust as there will be a detailed list of ingredients on the back.
- If you don’t feel like eating, you can always just purchase a drink- canned or bottled drinks. Be careful if ordering a smoothie in case an allergen (e.g. peanut butter) had been added to someone’s order previously or in an option as a topping as there may be traces of the allergen on surrounding equipment and utensils.
- Politely ask friends if they wouldn’t mind avoiding nuts/your allergen as a snack.
These are a few simple tips you can follow, not only for your going to the cinema but any food related event. It’s important not to let your allergies hold you back or ruin a night out at the cinema. You can enjoy yourself as long as you are prepared and take the necessary precautions.
What to Pack:
- EpiPens & Antihistamines
- Hand Sanitizer and wipes
- Allergen Free Food
- Mobile in case of emergnecies